Phillippines: Abortion Law


Abortion Law

 Abortion is permitted to save a woman's life but the law does not state this explicitly. 

Abortion in the Philippines is generally illegal. Under the abortion provisions of the  Penal Code, a person who intentionally causes an abortion with the consent of the pregnant woman is subject to a penalty of prison correccional (i.e., imprisonment for from six months to six years) in its medium or maximum period. A physician or midwife who causes or assists in the performance of an abortion is subject to the maximum period of this penalty, as well as suspension from the right to follow a profession. A woman performing an abortion on herself to conceal her dishonour is subject to the minimum or medium period of this penalty. Although the Penal Code does not list specific exceptions to the general prohibition on abortion, under the general criminal law principles of necessity as set forth in article 11(4) of the Code, an abortion may be legally performed to save the pregnant woman’s life.

*Information above has been retrieved from the official UN website. Full text can be found here.


Misoprostol Availability

Misoprostol is registered but very difficult to acquire.

However, on prescription it is possible to get Arthotec, which is a combination of diclofenac and an outer layer of misoprostol. It is used for rheumatic pain and arthritis.


Additional Information: 

 The official penal code: link.

PHILIPPINES.  Revised Penal Code.

Art. 256. Intentional abortion.  Any person who shall intentionally cause an abortion shall suffer:

1. The penalty of reclusion temporal, if he shall use any violence upon the person of the pregnant woman.

2. The penalty of prision mayor if, without using violence, he shall act without the consent of the woman.

3. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the woman shall have consented.

 Art. 257. Unintentional abortion. The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium period shall be imposed upon any person who shall cause an abortion by violence, but unintentionally.

Art. 258. Abortion practiced by the woman herself of by her parents. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon a woman who shall practice abortion upon herself or shall consent that any other person should do so. 

Any woman who shall commit this offense to conceal her dishonor, shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.

If this crime be committed by the parents of the pregnant woman or either of them, and they act with the consent of said woman for the purpose of concealing her dishonor, the offenders shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods.

Art. 259. Abortion practiced by a physician or midwife and dispensing of abortives. � The penalties provided in Article 256 shall be imposed in its maximum period, respectively, upon any physician or midwife who, taking advantage of their scientific knowledge or skill, shall cause an abortion or assist in causing the same.

 Any pharmacist who, without the proper prescription from a physician, shall dispense any abortive shall suffer arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 1,000 pesos.


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